Report: Braves close to a deal with Gavin Floyd

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Eddie A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reported last night that free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd was close to signing a one-year contract with an unidentified team. That team is a mystery no longer.

According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Floyd is in talks with the Braves. The two sides are believed to be close to a deal, but nothing is finalized yet. It would likely be an incentive-laden pact.

Floyd made just five starts with the White Sox this past season prior to having Tommy John surgery and his flexor tendon repaired in May. While he’ll likely be a bit behind at the start of the 2014 season, he could be useful starting depth to have around. As of now, the Braves project to have a rotation of Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood.

Floyd turns 31 in January and posted a 4.12 ERA from 2008-2012 while making at least 29 starts in each season.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.